There are several elements that go into creating a Curb episode.
- Larry gets screwed by an asshole
- Larry gets yelled at by Susie
But what separates a funny episode from a brilliant episode is Larry David offering a real-life person a shot at redemption. It was this sort of selfless act that allowed us to finally forgive Michael Richards for his racist outburst last season. So if you’re a god-awful Red Sox fan, maybe you learned to finally let go of the Bill Buckner hate and learned to forgive the man.
It all starts off with Larry eating lunch outdoors (where “the dust and dirt from buses could easily get into their food”) with the Greens and his new boo. This new chick didn’t really do it for me, so I shoulda guessed she’d be nothing but trouble. While Larry is agreeing to get a ball signed by Mookie Wilson for Jeff’s birthday (Jeff’s a Mets fan? Awesome!), Larry falls into a trance when a Mister Softee pulls up behind him. This causes Larry to see his much-too-eager-to-share therapist.
Larry tells his therapist the traumatic story of Mister Softee which involves a game of strip poker, a “pretty, pretty, pretty good” line, and an angry dad. It is, no doubt traumatic, but altogether hilarious at the expense of a young four-eyed Larry David. One question though: Did every Jew growing up in Brooklyn, NY during the 1950s look like Woody Allen? It’s deeply concerning.
After that painful jog down memory lane, Larry is back on the softball diamond for his shot at a Championship. This does not work out any better than the Golf Tournament, as Larry is, once again, caught mesmerized by the power of the Mister Softee jingle. This causes Yari, the player-manager of the softball team, to pop off in an expletive-laced tirade after Larry commits an error. If you thought Yari’s pre-game speech where he compares himself to Steinbrenner and urges his players to “fuck their (the opponents’) sisters in the cunt” was bad, then you definitely weren’t expecting anything less than “You Buckner’d me!”, were you? Classic tirade.
When Larry gets home, he sees Leon waiting outside the building due to the doorman being a racist prick. Larry suggests Leon start wearing glasses, since “white people revere black people in glasses”. Leon and Larry are so good together that it continues to baffle me when they can go a whole episode without the two interacting. HBO needs to hop on that J.B. Smoove as Leon spin-off — like right now.
So, we’ve got the asshole screwing Larry, Leon, and now we get to the part where Susie screams at Larry. After getting Mookie Wilson’s autograph and running into his therapist who doesn’t believe in doctor-patient confidentiality at the signing, Larry meets Bill Buckner. Bill Buckner, if you didn’t already know, was the Red Sox player who gift-wrapped the 1986 World Series for the NY Mets. Don’t worry, no Red Sox fan will ever let you forget that guy. With Buckner in tow, Larry is appalled at all the hate Buckner gets from still-bitter Red Sox fans. In fact, he runs into so much hate that you’d suspect Buckner killed baby koalas for a living.
Thinking he’s finally safe, when Larry arrives at Jeff’s with Bill Buckner he tosses the ball towards an unsuspecting Buckner who drops it off the balcony (both a bad throw and a terrible catch). Susie proceeds to yell her ass off. Check! But there’s more hilarious hijinks to be had.
Larry takes new girl out on a date, which turns out to be a mistake since Yari, Larry’s auto-mechanic, messed around with the front passenger seat turning it into “a fuck machine”. So when Larry finally gets to her place, she’s no longer in the mood. Which sucks for Larry, but as Leon so eloquently put it, “Man cannot compete with machine!”. Amen, brother. Amen.
The whole Leon with glasses works wonders for Larry as no gatekeeper or therapist can refuse the black man wearing glasses. It’s a really funny bit. So was having Larry stop mid-thrust when Mister Softee makes an appearance during a romp in the bedroom. Then having the chick call Larry “Mister Softee” was even better. Lots of stuff to like here.
But again, let’s go back to Larry providing a real-life person a chance at redemption. When Larry pulled it off for Michael Richards in one of the most cathartic scenes I’ve ever watched, I was surprised at how brilliant and funny it was. This one probably comes up a close second.
After years of hate and torrid behavior on behalf of die-hard Red Sox fans, maybe, just maybe, Bill Buckner will finally be forgiven for his error in the 1986 World Series. In the end, he makes a catch that no one, not even the most die-hard Buckner hater could not help but laugh at. Kudos to Larry David for giving the man a second chance to play the hero.